Hypnosis, Clinical Hypnotherapy

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a form of focused internal attention. It facilitates intentional access to mental capacities that we may not be presently utilizing in helpful ways. Essentially hypnosis is the conscious use of deeper levels of consciousness to shape positive perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. Thru the experience of hypnosis we may be able to develop the capacity for self-hypnosis. This skill can be enormously beneficial to our well-being.

Clinical hypnosis is used in 3 ways:

  1. To focus the imagination to create powerful positive mental imagery. Our imaginations shape our perceptions and actions. Learning how to positively harness our imaginations is a great advantage.
  2. To present and consider new and beneficial ways of looking at and acting within situations. A skilled clinician works with the client to carefully select suggestions that are compatible with the client’s goals and worldview.
  3. To engage in subconscious exploration. This approach can be helpful to learn about the hidden motivations, perceptions and experiences that may be unduly negatively influencing the client’s choices and behaviours. This approach can be helpful in that it bypasses the conscious mind’s attempts to rationalize and make sense of choices that ‘don’t make sense’.

Myths about Hypnosis

It is commonly believed that hypnosis can result in loss of control, of being dominated by the will of the practitioner. This belief typically originates in observations of the work of stage hypnotists who have created a form of ‘entertainment’ involving the exhibition of participants engaging in ‘humorous’ and embarrassing behaviors. The work of stage hypnotists bears no resemblance to the work of clinical hypnosis. In the former instance participants are pre-selected for their willingness to surrender their self-control and engage in these scenarios. In clinical hypnosis the intention is to form a partnership where the clinician and client work together to use hypnosis to pursue the stated objectives of the client. It is truly a partnership that is only successful if the client feels safe and confident in the therapeutic relationship.

Another common misconception is that clients will not be able to remember what has transpired during hypnosis. This rarely happens. Remembrance of the hypnotic state is typically encouraged so that the client may make optimal use of the experience in their day-to-day life.

Similarly some people fear that foreign ideas may be ‘implanted’ during hypnosis. This is not the case because our minds know what our experience is what is true for us and will reject what is untrue and incompatible.

When will Hypnosis be Beneficial?

Hypnosis is most effective when: the client is motivated to change and feels comfortable and safe with their therapist, and when utilized by a competent trained therapist within the context of good quality therapy. Hypnosis is not a standalone treatment but rather one potential aide to good quality psychotherapy.

For more information about our hypnosis services please contact John Walker at 780 482 3711 or jlewalkerwork@shaw.ca

More information about clinical hypnosis can be found at  http://www.asch.net/